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Global Issues: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dies

Monday, December 19, 2011
by Owen Moelwyn-Hughes

Kim Jong-il North Korea’s leader has unexpectedly died of a heart attack.  Global Issues students should follow up on this as unpredictable North Korea has been led by a ‘cult’ and developments tied to one of the world’s most unstable and nuclear tipped states should be seen with alacrity in relation to the issue of WMD and proliferation.

The BBC carries the story and some useful analysis: N Korean leader Kim Jong-il dies

Also the CFR has a comprehensive piece [including an interactive link] :

North Korea after Kim.  It starts:

The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on December 18, 2011, has raised serious concerns over the future of the country and stability in the Korean peninsula. His son Kim Jong-un is now expected to take over the helm of the nuclear-armed Communist country, one of the most closed-off societies in the world. A September 2008 CFR Council Special Report says there is a possibility North Korea might intentionally transfer nuclear weapons or materials to a terrorist group, and thus merits Cold War-style methods of deterrence from the United States. While some experts believe the country might see some reform in the period after Kim, others see little hope for change, especially in the ongoing effort to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

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